Guidance for In-person Education in K-12 Educational Settings

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Please note this guidance was updated in August 2021 to acknowledge the revised CDC guidance around masking.

Since August 2020, an interdisciplinary team of public health professionals, pediatricians, infectious disease experts and epidemiologists at PolicyLab has been providing evidence-based guidance for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic in schools to education leaders across the country.

This revised guidance offers PolicyLab’s recommendations for how schools, their teachers, and families might navigate the upcoming school year based on the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and recent evidence on SARS-CoV-2 transmission, youth outcomes from COVID-19 and immunity offered through vaccination. Additionally, this resource provides school leaders and parents insight into the scenarios in which children can learn without masks and presents recommendations on aligning school safety plans with public health requirements, specifically for masking; social distancing; ventilation; testing; isolation and quarantine; and hygiene and disinfection. 

The revised guidance replaces previous PolicyLab guidance shared during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:


Rubin D, Coffin S, Matone M, Marshall D, Fisher B, Gerber J